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Murphy rides with new team to Hamilton 400


Fresh from a second placing at the Melbourne grand prix last month, Greg Murphy hopes to continue with a podium finish at Hamilton this weekend

The 3.4km Hamilton Street Circuit has not been kind to Murphy since it moved from Pukekohe three years ago, but he's back for another shot this year with new team Kelly Racing.

Murphy raced to second place in the final race of the non-championship Melbourne grand prix meeting last month, lifting the confidence of the team after the first two championships rounds, Abu Dhabi and Adelaide, brought just a ninth place in the Middle East.

"It was a boost, but we have to be pretty realistic about all these things," he said.

"We haven't exactly been consistent up the front of the field and that was good for us."

In Melbourne, a combination of a good start, a big crash that took out several drivers, and a good pit stop strategy allowed Murphy to work his Holden Commodore up the field.

He was pleased with the way he and his team had managed the situations that faced them during the race.

But he was also searching for greater consistency, and being able to be in contention because he had qualified well and had good pace.

Murphy said he was getting more comfortable with his car and was enjoying being in his new environment.

"But there's little bits and pieces that we're still working on," he said.

"I'm confident we've moved forward, but exactly where that puts us, I'm not 100 percent sure."

The Hamilton 400 comprises two races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, and two-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup will go into the round as the one to beat.

Whincup has been unbeatable in Hamilton over the past two years - in a Ford in 2009 and a Holden in 2010.

He also tops this year's points table and his Team Vodafone Holden have had the chequered flag in the four of the seven races - championship and non-championship - that have been contested.

No New Zealander has won on the Hamilton circuit.

Along with Murphy, compatriots Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen will be looking to break the drought this year.

1 Jamie Whincup 567
2 Alex Davison 423
3 Shane Van Gisbergen 363
4 Mark Winterbottom 348
5 David Reynolds 345
6 Michael Caruso 336
7 Fabian Coulthard 327
8 Jonothan Webb 321
9 Craig Lowndes 306
10 Jason Bright 294
18 Greg Murphy 225

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